Vice President of Council Tom Vanover called Council to order on July 15, 2009, at 7:00
Mr. Vanover stated that item 9 be moved to item 5a.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mrs. McNear gave the invocation.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Diehl, Galster, Squires, Wilson and Vanover. Mrs. Harlow was absent.
The minutes of June 17, 2009, were approved with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster introduced 28th District State Representative Connie Pillich who is here to present us with a Legislative update. Representative Pillich stated the budget was passed on Monday, July 13. Since we are in the middle of a recession, the state has been affected with dramatically lower revenues. In 2008, the State had already made $2 billion cuts in spending, and we were faced with another $3 billion. When you look at $55 billion budget, it looks like a lot, but $45 billion of that is fixed by federal law or court order. Out of the $10 billion we now have, half of that is used to provide important services like Child Protective Services, Mental Health for the disabled, Meals on Wheels for the elderly, Nursing Home Services and Medicaid.
We did have a comprehensive education reform plan that will make some dramatic differences. We worked hard to provide some flexibility for our schools in our district. We also worked hard to make sure we have most of our services for the most vulnerable such as child protective services. Health care coverage for the poor has been expanded and Medicaid was protected. We have special programs to encourage certain types of economic development such as a tax film credit and a new markets tax credit. We took care of our food banks and mental health services. We did everything we could to preserve the option of bringing in federal dollars to help us with our budget.
We also worked on veteran legislation: The Military Lease Act; The Military Family Leave Act; and Veterans bonus. The Veterans Bonus will be on the ballot this fall. The Interstate Compact on Education Opportunities for Military Children was passed. This assists children in grade placement, transferring records, and getting credit for classes taken.
Other highlighted items were House Bill 3 the mortgage Foreclosure Bill; House Bill 9 the Renters Protection Act; and we enhanced public safety with Teen Dating Violence Bill which will require schools to incorporate teen dating violence in their health class between seventh and twelfth grades. These bills are awaiting passage by the Senate.
I am also working on aggressive legislation for setting nutrition standards on school vending machines, requiring energy efficiency in construction of public buildings and allowing county auditors to conduct gasoline testing at local gas stations.
Mayor Webster brought up an issue regarding asking the state for assistance in bringing more retail to Springdale. Representative Pillich stated that she looked forward to working with the Mayor on that issue.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - Mr. Galster reported the Planning commission met last night and discussed the Princeton Plaza revitalization plan. The continuing redevelopment of their property and the surrounding property is quite impressive. This is a phased in project and will take approximately 2-3 years. More concrete plans will be available in the future.
Board of Zoning Appeals - July 21
Board of Health - no report
Veterans Memorial Committee - no report
O-K-I - no report
Mayors Report Mayor Webster stated there is no official report. The primary activity has been concentrating on the transition that were going through of passing the baton from Mr. Osborn to Mr. Parham.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Mrs. McNear reported on the state of our budget so far this year. Based on a budget of a little over $16,000,000 we have spent 46% of that. This is $537,000 less than last year due to less spending and budgeting less expenditures. Our earnings tax budget is $14.5 million, and we have spent half of that - $7.2. Our major sources of funds earnings tax at $7,000,000, real estate tax at $668,000 and then local government funds at $253,000. Two items of significance is the $148,000 FEMA grant money we received due to last Septembers windstorm, and the $105,000 reimbursement we received from CSX for the East Kemper Phase III project.
Administrators Report Mr. Osborn reported that NextStep Networkings contract expired June 30th. Mr. Parham is currently reviewing their contract proposal and is planning to meet with them to finalize the details. The second item is the seven Resolutions that were adopted last year, but due to some confusion on filing, they were not placed on the ballot. The seven items are as follows: 1) changing the title of Superintendent of Public Works to Director of Public Works; 2) clarifies the duties of the Clerk of Council/Finance Director; 3) deletes Article V, B, subparagraph 6 which currently requires that 50% of the electors signing at-large candidates petitions must live outside of the district of the candidate; 4) clarifies Article VII, D is referring to the Citys Tax Budget not its annual Appropriation Budget; 5) sets certain regulations dealing with limits on petty cash; 6) clarifies that the standards for the certification of availability of public funds are now controlled by ORC 5705.41 as opposed to being set by the charter; 7) allows the City to purchase insurance instead of surety bonds for employees who handle cash. We have found that it is less expensive to cover these expenses through insurance. These seven Resolutions will be before you in August with the intent of having them on the ballot in November.
The third item deals with the potential extension of our contract with Cincinnati Water Works for water service. The current agreement expires in 2017. Under that agreement, all residents have to pay a differential on the rate charged to its customers. The differential started at 1.43% in 1988 and will decline to 1.25% in 2017. Back in 2002, Cincinnati wanted assistance financing the expansion of the Convention Center. In order to get support of the County, the City of Cincinnati agreed to extend the existing area contract until 2047. This will not happen automatically. We will have to adopt legislation authorizing the agreement by the end of December 2010. We have been looking at this a long time and have not been able to identify any downside to this. There are several area communities who have already adopted the agreement Blue Ash, Elmwood Place, Forest Park, Lincoln Heights, Mt. Healthy, Sharonville and Silverton. This is critical because if we negotiate separately, Cincinnati could set the rates anywhere, and we could be at a great disadvantage. Legislation should be before you in August or September authorizing the execution of an agreement with Cincinnati Water Works locking in the rates through 2047.
The last item is the 2008 Annual Report. The Departments have done an excellent job with less money and less people. We will continue to adjust our expenses, prioritize and take the necessary steps and at the same time protect the City Services. Thanks to all the Directors and the staff for their efforts.
Mr. Parham presented a report on Emerald Ash Borer. Mr. Agricola has been working to identify different programs for treatment of the Ash trees. The community has approximately 183 Ash Trees in Glenview subdivision, 69 trees at the municipal complex, and throughout the community there are 230 Ash trees in the right of way. Requests for Proposals were sent out for three different projects: 1) treating 183 trees in the Glenview subdivision; 2) treating the municipal complex; and 3) treating the trees in the right of way. Number 1 and 2 were combined and four proposals were received. The City chose Back Tree Service whose treatment includes injecting the tree with TREE-äge. The treatment is costing the City $9800 for the two locations for a two year period. Not all trees will be treated. Some trees wont be treated so we have a control group to see what may happen to the trees if not treated. Some trees will be removed. We will request a proposal from Back Tree Service for the cost of treating the other 232 trees in the right of way. We plan to implement that program in spring 2010.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda reported no change on the SR 4 and Crescentville Road project. The SR 4 continuous northbound lane at Glensprings project construction is underway and has a September 30 completion date. Crescentville Road at 747 construction is underway and has a September 30 completion date. SR 747 ODOT paving Kemper Road to I-275 Eastbound off ramp. Bid opening was held today and John R. Jurgensen was the lowest bidder. SR 4 Southbound lane addition at I-275 is still in the process of getting the environmental document approved by the state, and then will be followed up with the permit for construction. Anticipate that construction will start April 2010. Northland Blvd. repair/resurfacing ODOT has taken over the lead environmental document for this project.
Mr. Osborn asked Mr. Shvegzda if he would like to mention the Northwest Blvd. cul de sac acceptance because we will need to have legislation for that.
Mr. Shvegzda replied that was part of the improvements initiated with the replat in 2001. The work was finished and inspected. There were some issues with some pavers and the owner took care of those issues. We now recommend that it be done. The cul de sac is dedicated but not accepted at this time.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - Chris Kennard, 673 Hillgrove Court wanted to inform the City and its residents of a state-funded program called the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). This program was set up to provide funding for retraining for employment. There are certain requirements that need to be met in order to qualify. You must attend an orientation meeting and fill out an assessment for eligibility. If youre approved, you may receive funding of up to $10,000. In Hamilton County, the unemployed are referred to Super Jobs on Central Parkway.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION R-8-2009 COMMENDING CITY ADMINISTRATOR CECIL W. OSBORN FOR HIS DISTINGUISHED AND DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded. Resolution R-8-2009 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster, along with City Council, thanked Cecil W. Osborn for his professionalism, dedication and service to the residents and staff of the City of Springdale and wished him well in his future endeavors.
Mr. Osborn addressed the Mayor and City Council and thanked everyone for their kind words. He stated that nothing that has been accomplished here was done by him alone. Mr. Osborn thanked Mayor Webster for treating him as a team member and contributing to his success in his job. Mr. Osborn thanked City Council for their support throughout his tenure. He also thanked his Assistant, Derrick Parham, co-workers throughout the Citys workforce, and his family for their support throughout the years.
ORDINANCE NO. 17-2009 RENAMING ORANGE STREET TO OSBORN WAY IN HONOR OF RETIRING CITY ADMINISTRATOR CECIL W. OSBORN
Mr. Galster made a motion to amend Ordinance No. 17-2009 to add the emergency clause and Mr. Danbury seconded. The amendment adding the emergency clause was passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury made a motion and Mr. Galster seconded. Ordinance No. 17-2009 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster presented Mr. Osborn with the Osborn Way street sign. The Mayor stated that the new street signs have been posted during this Council Meeting.
Mr. Osborn thanked everyone and stated that this is the street that he looks out onto everyday.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS Mrs. McNear stated we have a new liquor license transfer from a C1 to a C2 at 11775 Springfield Pike. There were no objections.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
BZA - July 21
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance No. 17-2009
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
An Ordinance authorizing contract renewal with Next Step
Networking August 19
Seven Resolutions regarding changes in the City Charter August 19
Contract between Cincinnati Water Works and the City of
Cincinnati locking in a rate of 1.25% until 2047
Acceptance of a dedication for the Northwest Blvd. cul de sac
Council adjourned at 9:13 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council